Actions aimed at preventing and eliminating threats caused by the storage or presence of ammunition in the waters of the Baltic Sea have a long history dating back directly to the period of fighting during World War I and II. Polish scientific and research institutes actively participate in the implementation of such projects.
The article is a continuation of the publication published a few weeks ago on the Gospodarmorska.pl portal and describes the work that was carried out in the last days of April 2023. For the purposes of the implementation of the R&D projects of the European Union – AMMOTRACE / PROBANNT, in the period 12 – 17/04/2023, specialists from IO PAN and OBR CTM took part in a cruise on board s/y Oceania. The purpose of the cruise was to carry out a number of research activities related to testing prototype solutions, including measurements of hydrological conditions, checking the biodiversity of water areas, monitoring the seabed and collecting samples of seabed sediments. One of the key undertakings was to test in action, in the natural marine environment, a solution allowing for the collection of samples of the seabed – the Sediment Sampler.
This solution was designed and made by the OBR CTM team and is ultimately a module integrated into the underwater vehicle.“Estimating the environmental impact of munitions requires very precise collection of sediments. An earlier approach based on scoops and probes lowered from the ship is not possible in the immediate vicinity of the munitions due to the risk of munitions disruption. On the other hand, samplers on an underwater vehicle make it possible to collect samples less than a meter from the facility and measure pollutants at the source” – says Professor Jacek Bełdowski, head of the laboratory of contemporary marine ecosystem pollution at IOPAN.
In accordance with the voyage plan, measurements using an underwater vehicle together with a designed device for collecting samples of bottom sediments, took place in the designated areas of the wrecks of the Gulf of Gdańsk, i.e. the tanker Franken and the tugboat Strazak.